Lionel Messi confirms Sunday’s final will be his LAST ever World Cup match
Lionel Messi inspired Argentina in win over Croatia to reach the World Cup final The 35-year-old has confirmed Sunday’s final will be his last World Cup game Messi said playing his last World Cup match in a final is ‘the best way to finish’
Lionel Messi has confirmed that Sunday’s World Cup final will be his last ever match at the tournament.
The Argentine superstar will look to go out on a bang and cement his legacy by lifting football’s most prestigious trophy, at what is his final chance to add the competition to his illustrious CV.
Messi produced a performance in the semi-final which didn’t look like a man that was about to bow out of international football, as he put in arguably the performance of the entire competition to help his country reach the final in a 3-0 victory.
The 35-year-old said after the game that playing in a final is the best way to go out and that he doesn’t think he could go again when the next World Cup rolls around in 2026.
‘Everything I experienced in this World Cup is something very exciting , what people lived through, how people are enjoying it in Argentina.’
When asked if it was his last World Cup, he added: ‘Surely yes. There are many years for the next one and I don’t think I will be able to do that and ending this way is the best.
‘The important thing is to be able to achieve the group objective, which is the most beautiful of all.
‘We are one step away after fighting a lot and we are going to try to give our best as up to now, to try to make it happen this time.’
Messi rolled back the years in a stunning performance against Croatia on Tuesday night.
He opened the score from the penalty spot, giving keeper Dominik Livakovic no chance as he smashed the ball home into the top corner.
He then had a big hand in the second goal as on the counter-attack he found Julian Alvarez – who after a few lucky ricochets while bursting through the Croatia defence – was able to find the back of the net.
Messi left his best moment for the second-half with a stunning assist in which he drove past Josko Gvardiol three times before rolling the ball back into the path of Alvarez to finish off.
The World Cup is the only major trophy missing from Messi’s illustrious CV.
He previously got to the final in 2014 where Argentina suffered a 1-0 defeat to Germany after a Mario Gotze goal in extra time.
The South American nation will face the winners of France’s clash with Morocco in the World Cup final.